New Year’s Honours for Piers Gilliver

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Piers Gilliver’s success at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games has been rewarded with an MBE in the New Year’s Honours.

Piers has been the cornerstone of GB wheelchair fencing since 2014, when he started to surprise his opponents with his consistently high performances, and began a phenomenal medal tally in international competitions. He won the first three World Cup qualifying competitions for Rio, including beating the top Chinese fencer, Gang Sun, in Hong Kong. He qualified for Rio 2016 and came home with a silver medal in the Category A Epee.

Qualifying for Tokyo was a completely different experience, as the rules had changed and athletes had to excel in more than one weapon. Piers changed his second weapon from foil to sabre, but continued to fence foil in the team events.

Piers qualified for Tokyo in first place in the combined rankings, and he played a large part in the success of both the epee and foil teams, which also qualified for Tokyo. The pandemic did not provide the best preparation for the wheelchair fencing team, but Piers led the small group of fencers to Tokyo, and they let their fencing do the talking.

Piers won individual Gold in the men’s Category A Epee, beating Gang Sun of China, and Maxim Shaburov of Russia along the way.

Piers played a major part in the two team competitions, winning Silver in the Team Foil, and Bronze in the Team Epee.

The award of an MBE is a fitting end to the year for this truly remarkable young man.